Bespoke Millinery – What It means To Have A Customized Hat.

Customer don’t always know what I mean when I talk of full custom millinery.

In the world of hand-made hats, there’s still quite a wide range of what is available to you.

A milliner may offer only in-stock, one-off pieces. Your choice is to like the hat as it is or leave it.

Or a milliner may offer a variety of styles which you then can order in select colors, maybe even trim options, sort of limited custom.

A milliner might offer you that the head size of the hat can be adjusted, within reason.

Or the milliner may offer to design a hat just for you. Naturally, the price for a custom-designed hat has to be higher than that of a limited custom hat, as the work of designing the hat and working out how to make the hat doesn’t get distributed over a number of pieces. Make no mistake, that is the part of the millinery process where all the experience, talent and creativity comes into play.

Milliners may offer a mixture of these option; many of my customers want an exact copy of one of my hats in stock, in a color that better suits them than the original version.

Many customer have an event to go to and already know what clothes they will wear and need a hat to go with the event and the outfit. In that case, we discuss the different options and then I make the final choice specifically for that customer.

The hat I’ll talk about in this post is a different case. My customer really liked one of my stock hats, a model I call “Alpine”.

The “Alpine’ is a hat for a head size of about 50-59cm/23′, so on the bigger side. The proportions of the hat make it a small to medium brimmed hat.

My customer, however, had a larger head size and the original looked like a beanie on her.

So I discussed with her what it is that she liked about the original and then I made a hat for her specifically, in a size I like to call “grand”. As you can see in the comparison pictures, not only did I use a lager crown block, I also shaped a much more generous brim. So I took from the original the idea and general feel, including the details such as raised brim attachment and scalloped edge.



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